Renewable Energy News From Around The World

Boulder makes new advance in municipalization

By Daily Camera

Boulder’s got a long way to go before it can separate from Xcel Energy and form a municipal electric utility, but the city’s never been closer than it is today.

Rooftop solar: Net metering is a net benefit

By Brookings Institution

One of the most exciting infrastructure developments within metropolitan America, the installation of over a million solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in recent years, represents nothing less than a breakthrough for urban sustainability — and the climate.

MGM Resorts to leave Nevada Power, pay $86.9M exit fee

By Las Vegas Review-Journal

Las Vegas gaming giant MGM Resorts International told state regulators on Thursday that it will exercise its option to exit as a customer of Nevada Power and purchase its own electricity on the wholesale market.

The Biggest Energy Storage Projects from Last Year

by Greentech Media

Last year will likely be remembered as the year that energy storage got serious. While projects of all sizes were installed in record numbers, distributed storage received outsized attention—particularly in the U.S.

Initiative proposes breaking up NV Energy monopoly

By Las Vegas Review-Journal

A proposed constitutional amendment to open up Nevada’s electricity markets and give consumers “meaningful choices” of utility providers was filed Wednesday with the secretary of state’s office.

Wind Energy Cheaper Than Natural Gas for Xcel, CEO Ben Fowke Says

by Bloomberg Business

Xcel Energy Inc., the biggest U.S. provider of wind power, expects long-term contracts for the technology to beat the cost of natural gas, another sign of the rapid transformation of the power market.

Boulder Launches Online Solar Tool

by Daily Camera

A new online tool developed by the city of Boulder and Mapdwell, a clean-tech spinoff from M.I.T., will allow Boulder residents and business owners to understand the solar potential of their property and connect with solar resources.

The Latest Step Toward Local Power: Boulder Files with the PUC

by City of Boulder

The City of Boulder today filed an application with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) asking for approval to transfer the electric system assets necessary to operate a municipal electric utility. These assets are currently owned by Public Service Company of Colorado, also known as Xcel Energy.

Boulder's commitment to EnergySmart makes it a national contender in energy efficiency.

by Boulder Weekly

If Boulder was big enough to qualify for the list of largest U.S. cities ranked for energy efficiency, it would knock Denver out of the top 10, coming in at No. 7.

Cheapest Solar Ever: Austin Energy Gets 1.2 Gigawatts of Solar Bids for Less Than 4 Cents

by GreenTechMedia.com

The city’s utility, Austin Energy, just released new data on developer bids for PV projects as part of a 600-megawatt procurement. The numbers show how far solar prices have come down over the last year — and will continue to drop.

Judge rules Boulder leaders had authority to create municipal utility.

by Daily Camera

The Boulder City Council’s decision last year to formally create a municipal electric utility was upheld by a district court judge, Judge Judith LaBuda, who ruled Xcel did not meet the procedural requirements to challenge the utility formation.

Google to Build Data Center Powered by 100% Renewables at Soon-to-Be Closed Alabama Coal Plant

by EcoWatch.com
Google announced today that it will build a new data center in Alabama at the site of a coal-fired power plant that is scheduled to be shut down, and committed to power the facility with 100 percent renewable energy.

Norway sovereign wealth fund to divest from Xcel and other coal-based businesses.

Norway’s $890 billion government pension fund, considered the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, will sell off many of its investments related to coal, making it the biggest institution yet to join a growing international movement to abandon at least some fossil fuel stocks.

Elon Musk Debuts the Tesla Powerwall

These American Cities are Fighting for Control Over Electricity and The Internet

by Opendemocracy.net

State politicians are governed by check-writers in the energy and telecommunications businesses, but cities are pushing back.

100% Solar Using Just 0.026% of the World’s Land

by RenewableEnergyWorld.com

For so long it seemed like a pipe dream, yet in less than a decade utility-scale solar has reached $100 billion worth of capacity. Figures from the Energy Information Administration show that it delivered 5 percent of California’s electricity in 2014. The time has come to evaluate the impact which this technology can have, not just in the United States but globally.

Can Other Cities Do What Georgetown, TX Did (100% Renewable by 2017)?

by RenewableEnergyWorld.com

This is probably not the first place you’ve read about Georgetown, Texas, the town of 55,000 that will be getting the equivalent of 100 percent of its electricity from renewable energy by 2017. But few articles hit upon the two key reasons Georgetown was able to make this move when so many other cities with abundant renewable resources (e.g. Tucson, Arizona) are stuck with a majority-coal-fired electricity supply.

If cities had these keys, many could obtain 100 percent renewable energy at a surprisingly low cost.

California Public Utilities Commission President: Grid Can Handle 100% Renewables

by Bloomberg Business

California’s power grid could handle taking 100 percent of its supply from renewables such as wind and solar, and meeting the goal for half that amount will be no problem, the state’s chief energy regulator said.

Solar & Wind Cheaper Than Traditional Generation

by Cleantechnica.com

Wind and solar electricity have become some of our least expensive ways to generate electricity in several markets around the world.

Wind is now the cheapest way to bring new electricity generation to the grid in the US as well as many other countries. Solar PV costs are rapidly dropping and solar is expected to join wind over the next few years. Furthermore, low-cost utility-scale solar is already beating out all other sources of electricity in some bidding processes, and home solar power beats the price of retail electricity (on average) in many markets.

Germany Proves Life With Less Fossil Fuel Is Getting Easy

by Bloomberg Business

Sitting in a control center that helps ensure uninterrupted power for 82 million Germans, Gunter Scheibner is proving that renewable energy from the sun and wind can be just as reliable as fossil fuels.

Scheibner, in charge of keeping flows stable over 6,200 miles (9,976 kilometers) of transmission lines in eastern Germany, must keep power from solar and wind in harmony whether it’s sunny or overcast, windy or still. In doing so, he’s overcoming the great challenge for renewable energy: how to keep supplies steady when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Vancouver Commits To Run On 100% Renewable Energy

by The Guardian

Vancouver has become the latest city to commit to running on 100% renewable energy. The city of 600,000 on Canada’s west coast aims to use only green energy sources for electricity, and also for heating and cooling and transportation.

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

by RenewableEnergyWorld.com

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control.

Costa Rica: 100% Renewable Electricity for first 75 Days of 2015…

by IEEE Spectrum

Costa Rica has been coasting on nothing but renewable power since the start of 2015, according to news from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE).

The study found that during January, February, and at least the first half of March, the nation’s grid has been running on mostly hydropower, with geothermal, wind, biomass, and solar rounding out the power generation mix. Costa Rica has not had to use any of its oil reserves for electricity.

Why This Tea Party Leader Is Seeing Green on Solar Energy

by Yale Environment 360

As a founder of the Tea Party movement, Debbie Dooley may be an unlikely advocate for renewable energy. But in an e360 interview, she explains why she is breaking ranks with fellow conservatives and promoting a Florida ballot initiative that would allow homeowners to sell power produced by rooftop solar.

Georgetown, Texas, Goes All in on Renewable Energy

by Govtech.com

The municipal utility has unveiled plans to tap wind and solar energy to meet all of its customers’ power needs, making it the first Texas city-owned utility to abandon fossil fuels.

Why we need to keep fossil fuels in the ground

by The Guardian

Fort Collins will spend $600 million to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2030

by The Denver Post

Fort Collins has committed to an aggressive climate action target — cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent before 2030 — with city leaders calculating $600 million of investments will bring innovation and jobs.

The plan that council members unanimously approved this week calls for reducing heat-trapping emissions by shifting off electricity from fossil fuels such as coal, installing more solar panels, recycling and switching to cleaner vehicles.

Fort Collins pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% before the year 2030.

By Rocky  Mountain Institute

Fort Collins city council members have unanimously committed to an aggressive climate action target for reducing heat-trapping emissions by shifting off electricity from fossil fuels such as coal, installing more solar panels, recycling, and switching to cleaner vehicles. Only Copenhagen and Melbourne, Australia have committed to reducing emissions more rapidly.

Coal Fades, So Electrics Get Cleaner

by The New York Times

Almost as soon as modern mass-market electric vehicles became available, skeptics began asking if they actually delivered an environmental benefit. After all, they argued, charging batteries from a generating plant that burns fossil fuels simply relocates the greenhouse gas emissions to someone else’s neighborhood.

There was some basis for this position: An April 2012 report titled “State of Charge: Electric Vehicles’ Global Warming Emissions and Fuel Cost Savings Across the United States,” by the Union of Concerned Scientists concluded that electric vehicles were cleaner than hybrids in only 45 percent of the country. That was because in many areas, the majority of grid electricity used to charge the vehicles was generated at coal-fired power plants.

The situation has changed.